In the interest of full disclosure, by the time the Montreal Canadiens make the 25th-overall selection in the 2013 NHL entry draft, the consensus top three prospects—defenseman Seth Jones and centers Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin—are likely to be taken.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is this year’s draft is considered to be relatively deep, and Montreal should, in theory, still be able to nab a future star. With three picks in the top 40 and four in the first two rounds, there’s an even greater chance. Just look at the 2003 draft, probably the deepest in recent memory, for proof.
While relative bust Anthony Stewart was taken 25th, Corey Perry was still available, as were Loui Eriksson, Patrice Bergeron, Shea Weber, Corey Crawford, David Backes, Jimmy Howard, Joe Pavelski, Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byfuglien and, yes, even Jaroslav Halak, chosen by your Habs.
Of course, the Habs did choose Kontinental Hockey League-castoff Andrei Kostitsyn 10th overall. Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler and Mike Richards were also available at that point. As such, it’s clear that Montreal fans are guaranteed very little except a lot of excitement, speculation and good times all around leading up to June 30.
With that, here are the top five prospects who stand a good chance being available by the time the Habs pick (barring them moving up) and could be good fits: